Change is good?

October 25, 2014

“The main danger in this life are the people who want to change everything…or nothing.”  (Nancy Astor) – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog

We live in a world of constant change, yet there are many things that we try to keep the same. Back at the end of September I wrote a post titled “Change is Good.” In that post I did opine that change just for change sake isn’t necessarily good. Today’s saying seems to point out that those who are overly change oriented or those who resist any change are both at the wrong ends of the spectrum. It is frustrating for those at those polar opposite positions if they happen to be members of the same organization – one side pulling for massive change and the other digging in in resistance to any change.

I suspect that even the most diehard advocate of staying the same would begrudgingly admit that change is inevitable. Nothing stays the same forever. The ravages of age and wear eventually dictate change, just to keep from falling apart. Those who advocate wholesale change will also have to admit that maintaining some connection with the past is necessary to maintain identity, to be able to measure afraidthe differences in where you are going and where you have been. Even if the link to the past and the way things were is just symbolic, there is value in remembering and perhaps honoring that heritage. There is an old saying about what happens if we forget about our past.

I think the thing that scares people into resisting change the most is fear of the unknown. As bad as it may be right now, whatever state your organization (or life) may be in, it is at least a known thing. You understand it. You can get your arms around it. You can commiserate about it. Who knows how that new thing that is being suggested by the change-mongers will work out? What if it doesn’t work? Will we be worse off? The second thing that causes resistance is the pace of change. Why do we have to change so much, so fast? Couldn’t we just make smaller, more incremental changes? Sometimes there are no half-steps available. Getting a puppy to see how parenting might work out for you isn’t the answer; though it might get you more used to cleaning up poop.

One key to successfully navigating change in your organization and your life might be knowledge – taking the time to understand or explain the suggested changes – how things would be different and how they would work under the change; along with a clear and understandable explanation about the proposed steps to achieve the change and the plans to deal with any risks involved. Given a clear butterflies into the unknownexplanation that the resistors can understand and discuss openly will alleviate much of the fear of the unknown. There may still be disagreement about the need for the change, but that should also be covered as part of the discussion about the change process. Hopefully you can explain how things will get better because of the change, not just be different.

Any discussion of change ultimately focuses back on self and one’s ability to change themselves. Most often that focus is internal, on the attitude or outlook on life that you bring to the process and how to change that. There are tons of great books and articles that you can read and posters that you can hang on your wall about changing your attitude and becoming more positive. Just Google quotes about change.  I think the key thought is summed up nicely in this quote –

“I hope everyone that is reading this is having a really good day. And if you are not, just know that in every new minute that passes you have an opportunity to change that.” – Gillian Anderson

So, have a great weekend or make the personal changes necessary to have one.


Three little words that may change your life – change is good

September 30, 2014

OK, so back to the three little words theme, at least for today. I thought I’d change things up, because – change is good.

Actually, change is scary for most. Taking a new route means venturing into territory that you are unfamiliar with. Changing how you look means trying things that may not work out as you thought. Changing from a daily routine, means having to establish a new context for your day. All of those things bring uncertainty with them and out of uncertainty grows doubt and out of doubt grows fear. That is why we avoid changes, even though, change is good.

Why do I keep saying that change is good, even in the face of the uncertainty, doubt and fears that is conjures up? It’s because, change is necessary for learning. Going on to new things and forging ahead into uncharted territory is how we learn. Doing the same things over and over and following the same routine may allow us to get better at what we skatersalways do; that’s how some athletes, such as figure skaters, get to a higher level in their “routines”. They are called routines for a reason. They are the same time after time and eventually the skater gets better at performing the routine. But it is often the skater who tries something new, some new combination of jumps or adding one more revolution to a jump, who ends up winning and establishing a new standard. They tried something out of the routine and won because change is good.

I’m not espousing change for change’s sake, just the embrace of change when it makes sense, instead of the fear of change. It makes no sense to just decide that you are tired of driving on the right-hand side of the road and so you’ll change to driving on the other side; yet some people make arbitrary decisions to change some things with the same logic (or lack of logic). The word “capricious” was invented for them. They are not making good changes in their lives, just changes for change sake; sometimes they make changes just to see what happens. For them change can lead to disaster and they may never understand that, done properly, change is good.

afraidI recall periods in my life when I became a slave to routine. I would do the same thing each day, eat the same foods, keep the same schedule. It was comfortable. It didn’t require me to think, too much. It was easy. Then, I’d become aware of the rut that I was in and change something; usually something small in the beginning. After I got through first small change and the world didn’t come to an end, I might change other things or maybe everything. Career changes were the toughest. It’s hard to abandon a job or profession that you’ve become so used to doing every day and maybe even become proficient at doing. It’s scary to think of the learning curve that you’ll need to get over to go into a new career; but, at the same time it’s exciting. It exhilarates to think of learning new things, meeting new people, exploring new options. Soon you’ll love the changes because change is good.

But, what of your relationships with those that you love? Must those change, too? I would submit that they too must be subject to constant change. It’s not that you need to seek new people, it’s really that you need to continue to explore new avenues of the relationships that you have, do new things with them, constantly be aware of the need to examine the routines that you fall into and bring change into them. Have you become completely predicable? Does that predictability border on boredom? What things can you change about how you interact with your loved one to bringold coouple back some excitement and increase their interest in the relationship? Why aren’t you doing any of those things? Change things up a bit and see if the spark of change reignites a relationship that may have been reduced to just smoldering along. Embrace change in the relationship, because change is good.

A good way to start embracing change is to examine your daily routine. We all have a daily routine. Examine why you have that routine. For many the start of every day is about doing the same things over and over each day in order to get to work at exactly the same time. Why? Will the world stop if you get there a few minutes early or a few minutes later? Maybe you have to “clock in” and there would be consequences if you are late. Then change your routine to get there earlier. Perhaps you’d discover that there are people that you would have tome to chat with if you were there earlier. They’ve been there all along, but they were not a part of your routine. You may some new friends by just changing your morning routine. You’ll be happier and begin to understand why change is good.

flowersOnce you begin to embrace change look for other areas of your life that could use a breath of the fresh air of change. Most likely those will involve your relationships with others. How long has it been since you went out on a Ladies Night Out with your girlfriends? When was the last time that you played a pick-up basketball game with your buddies? How long ago was it when you last stopped on the way home to pick up a bouquet of flowers for your wife? When was the last time that you suggested going to a weekend football game with your husband? Those aren’t things you might normally do; they are changes and change is good.

Have a great day, but make at least one change in your routine today and see if it makes you feel a little different; hopefully a little better. Routines are comfortable, so you may have to leave that comfort zone a bit. I suspect just the adrenaline shot that you get from that change alone will make some small difference. You may even like it and want to experience it again; and out of that you will start to see that change is good.


You can change the outcome…

July 18, 2019

From a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog comes this insight –

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”  (Lee Iacoccoa)

I grew up in the era with some of the early proponents of changing one’s attitude. Norman Vincent Peele wrote his famous book ‘The Power of Positive Thinking” in 1952. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen, was on TV espousing a positive attitude through faith. Of course, there was Dale Carnegie and who could leave Zig Ziggler off such a list. More recently, lives have been influenced by the works of Eckhart Tolle, Thomas Anthony Harris, Tony Robbins and a host of self-help gurus. What all of these people have in common is the notion that you can change your life by changing your attitude.

In physics it can be shown that, in order to change the direction of an object that is in motion, some sort of force must be applied to that object – a force in a different direction than the object is traveling. The same is true of the trajectory of your life. It will decisionscontinue down the path it is on, unless some force is applied that causes it to change direction. That “force” can be some external event or it can be an internal change of attitude, which causes you to react differently and take a new direction. One could sit around and hope that something happens to change things in your life or one can take the first steps of changing your attitude towards life.

Perhaps the greatest “force” that can change the direction of your life is the force of a belief in God and in God’s impact on your life. Nothing will change your attitude aboutwoman-praying life more than accepting God’s role in your life and learning how to see and do what God has in mind for you. You may not understand the “why” of it all and maybe you cannot yet be able see the “how” it will all play out; but, if you accept the will of God in your life, as in “not my will, but Thy will be done”, the outcome in your life will definitely change.

The outcomes that we desire or dream about are basically expectations or hopes. We try to visualize or “see” the desired state at the end of an effort. Many people set goals for themselves based upon an outcome that involves acquiring and owning some new thing – a car, a house, a boat, something. They may envision themselves being happy once they have acquired that thing. Few find any real happiness in even the best outcome of suchgoal goals. They find that having the items does not bring happiness, only a temporary sense of achievement of that goal; then it is on to the next goal.

Perhaps the biggest change that one can make to change the trajectory of their life is to alter their perception of the desired outcome. Since there is an inevitable end to life on earth, the question becomes, “What is the outcome that I want at that point?” People of faith have an answer for that question; and, having found that Pinterest Wayne Dyer graphicanswer, their lives are altered and their goals change. They find satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment in service to others as they progress towards that ultimate goal.

Think about what you hear about people who are remembered, once they are gone. Do you hear people reciting a list of things that they were able to accumulate? More likely, if they are mentioned in a good context,  you hear what a good person they were, how kind or generous they were to others. You remember that love that they shared and how they made you feel good. You hear phrases like, “He (she) was always doing things for others, giving of their time and helping whenever they could.” Often you will also hear, “She (He) was a good Christian.” What you are hearing is that they changed the course of their lives by believing in God and the teachings of Christ and thus they changed the outcomegods-hands-2 for themselves and others around them.

You can change the course of your life and the outcome by believing in God. There is still time. Alter your life. Let God into it and experience the change in your life. You’re going to like the outcome.


We should learn from history, not just ignore it or try to change it

April 22, 2019

There was an interesting quote on a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog – “One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present.”  (Golda Mier)

I recalled that quote while watching the news on Easter Sunday. One of the news stories was about the so-called “Slave Bible”. The story concerned the efforts that slave owners made to change the Bible that they gave to slaves by removing any preacher-pointingpassages that they felt might ferment rebellion. The result was a Bible that was about ¼ the size of the actual Bible and one in which slaves were advised to mind their masters in Peter 2:18 “Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh.”

That story reminded me also of modern attempts, mainly in the South and somewhat successful, to remove the racist history of the South from school history books. Also conveniently erased from many school history books is the very poor treatment of Native Americans over time, including most references to the enforced marches to arrogant“reservations” that took place. These are ugly scars on our history, and some would just remove them from our school history books, in an attempt to protect our children from the ugliness of the truth.

Instead of just erasing or covering up those times in our nation’s history, we should be using them as teaching moments with our children to help them understand the tremendous negative impact of racism and bigotry and to make sure that history does not repeat itself. There are many examples through our history as a nation where hatred or fear drove the country’s leaders to make decisions that upon reflection were wrong. The internment of all citizens of Japanese descent during World War II was another example. The McCarthy “witch hunt hearings” to try to ferret out Communists in our midst was another.

The Civil Rights Movement in modern times provided many vivid examples that many people would like to sweep under the carpet and have us forget – but they happened and many were broadcast right into our homes on the nightly news. Today we have the “border crisis” and the plight of asylum seekers and   would-be immigrants. The pain and suffering of families torn apart at the border cannot and should not be ignored or predjuiceswritten out of our history. We also have intolerance and bigotry against those whom we somehow judge to be “different” – the LBGTQ community, those who are mentally or physically challenged, or those look or speak differently. We cannot write them our of our lives and our history.

We judge nations and the people in them using many standards, not the least of which is how they deal with inconvenient truths. Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Russia are two examples of nations with dark pasts that many in them would just as soon forget or re-write. There are many example today in the Middle East, South America and elsewhere of nations living through eras that someday they will wish didn’t happen.

But, it did happen. It is happening. There is/was suffering and death. We cannot just ignore it by writing it out of our history books or refusing to teach about it in our schools. Rather, we should use these unfortunate historical events as teaching examples of what not to do as a people with our children. We cannot erase the events of history. Much of the history of our country might not fit the present, but that does not change it. Some we may even have trouble explaining (or rationalizing), but we must try and we must point out what went wrong in order to teach what is right.


Change the world one person at a time…

November 27, 2018

In today’s post to his blog Jack’s Winning Words, Jack Freed uses this quote –

“Helping one person might not change the whole world, but it could change the world for one person.”  (Quoted by Brittany Trout)

During the holiday season many people become a little more generous and drop money into a red Salvation Army kettle or perhaps donate to some other worthy cause. It makes them feel good about themselves and they know that it will help someone, somewhere.

homeless-beggarThe truth is that there is need all the time all around us and we have opportunities every day to help someone and perhaps change their world. Perhaps it is cynicism or fear that prevents us from stopping to help the homeless man on the street corner begging for enough to but a meal or maybe to provide one for his family.  Maybe we feel that we are too busy doing things that are “important” to us to bother with stopping to talk to the lonely elderly women that we sitting in the man rushingretirement home window. We don’t have time to be bothered trying to discuss their issues with the distraught and depressed neighbor that we wave to in the yard. Yet, each of those encounters represent an opportunity for us to change the world for that person.

Sometimes it takes money to help; but, many times it just takes your presence and your time to make a difference in that other person’s life. Maybe you can’t volunteer builderafford to buy a house for someone, but you could afford the time to work on a house for someone on a Habitat for Humanity project. Maybe you can’t take in the homeless man on the corner, but you could volunteer with the group Home for the Homeless to find him a place to stay. Or, perhaps you could volunteer to spend time at a local retirement home reading to the residents or just visiting with them.

If we have nothing else to give, we have our time. How we use that time to the benefit of others can change the world one person at a time. We see stories on the nightly newsfacing the wall 2 every so often about the ex-soldier with PTSD or the ex-addict or the ex-homeless person who was helped by someone and who now runs a shelter or charity organization that is helping others. That person’s life was changed by an act of kindness by someone else and it changed their world from one of hopelessness and despair into a world of fulfilling accomplishment and self-worth through service to others. Now they are changing the world, one more person at a time.

being kind 1Try it. Stop and help someone today. You might like it. YOU can change the world for someone today!


Teetering on the seesaw of life or mastering the winds of change…

May 23, 2017

“The world is an eternal seesaw.”  (Montaigne) – as seen on a recent post to the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

Life is indeed full of ups and downs, of good and bad things, of friends and those we believe wish us no good, and of threats and rewards. No matter what state your life is in currently it is bound to change sometime soon. No matter how hard we try to grasp it we cannot hold on to the past and are forced to deal with the changes that are occurring in the present with little real insight into the future.

Intime for change order to avoid being run over by change, one must embrace change. One cannot stop the flow of change, but like a surfer riding a wave, one can get on top of change and enjoy the ride. One might even be able to effect the changes that are in motion so that they take you in a direction that you want to go, rather than just sweeping you along to some unknown destination

Perhaps the most important thing that one can do is to approach all things in life, including the changes that are happening all around us, with a positive attitude. It is all too easy, when the winds of change appear to be blowing against you, to let a negativedumb blob guy and defeatist attitude take over your life. Maintaining a positive attitude is key.  Brian Tracy pout it well when he said – “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.”

Good sailors know how to use the winds that are there, no matter which way they are blowing, to take them in the direction that they want to go. In order to sail in any direction other than with the wind, sailors need a centerboard (or keel equivalent) and a good rudder. In life we need that positive attitude as our centerboard and, I would sailboatsubmit, we need faith as our rudder to sail against the winds of change and the ups and downs that come with change. Sailors also study the stars and their maps to guide them, just as we can study the bible for guidance in our lives.

Change is inevitable, as are the ups and downs of life, but if we keep a positive attitude at our center and let our faith act as our rudder to guide us against the winds in life that seek to blow us off course, we will not only weather change but thrive in the midst of it. I love a quote that I found from Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon – “What we need to do is always lean into the future; when the world changes around you and when it changes against you – what used to be a tail wind is now a head wind – you have to lean into that and figure out what to do because complaining isn’t a strategy.”

I particularly like the last four words of Jeff’s quote. For some people complaining isn’t so much their strategy as it is their response to change. Those people not only accept that bad things will happen in their lives, they come to expect them and many adopt a defeatist attitude that eventually morphs into “why even try; I know I’m going to lose”. Try to stay away from those people because like a drowning swimmer they will try to drag you down with them.

Your walking manresponse to change based upon a positive attitude as your centerboard and your faith as your rudder will allow you master change and not let it get the upper hand on you. You will control your direction and your destiny, no matter which way the winds of change are blowing. Perhaps Sherrie Eldridge put it best when she said – “The remarkable thing we have is a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude”

How will you react to the changes that you encounter today?


Make a decision today to change your tomorrow…

April 20, 2017

Two recent quotes from the Jack’s Winning Words blog make sense to use together –

“None of us can change our yesterdays, but all of us can change our tomorrows.”  (Colin Powell)

And

“You’re always one decision away from a totally different life.”  (Unknown)

Did you ever stop and think about how things change in your life? We all get used to doing things the same way each day, it becomes our daily pattern and we become comfortable with those patterns because they don’t require new decisions from us; we can just continue doing what we’ve always done and there’s a sense of comfort to be found in that. Staying in your daily routines/patterns can also become restrictive. One doesn’t stretch at all and learn new things or meet new people if one does the same things in the same ways each day.

I recently posted about improvising and putting a little jazz in your life. That is a decision to take your life in a different direction. It definitely will impact and change your tomorrows. Maybe you start with a few small decisions like taking a different way to work or finally saying hello to the co-worker that you’ve been meaning to meet. Maybe smell-the-rosesyou decide to finally accept that invitation for coffee or a date with the person who has been trying for so long to ask you out or maybe you finally decide to ask out that person whom you have been secretly wanted to go out with. Maybe you just decide to take some time out of your hectic and busy schedule for some “you” time – time in which you aren’t trying to “accomplish” anything other than to have some time for yourself. That may be what you need right now.

Perhaps the decision that you will make today that changes your life is to get back to church and to re-establish your relationship with God. Many wander away from organized religion as they grow into adulthood and get caught up in the demands of day-to-day life. It is easy to push religion and church down your priority list, maybe afterchurch soccer or hockey practice or below going shopping; until it falls off the bottom of the list and is no longer a part of your life. You can rationalize it by saying, “I still believe in God, but I just don’t like churches and going to church.” You may even think that you’ll maintain your relationship with God through personal prayer time; but, that, too, falls by the wayside. Just like going to the gym is the only real way to have the discipline to do a good workout, going to church each Sunday is the best way to add time (and discipline) for your religion into your busy schedule. It is a habit that you need to keep in your life.

You might be thinking, why should I make any changes in my life; I’m happy with where I am and what’s going on in my life. I go to church each week and even read my bible on occasion. That’s great that you’ve achieved a state of contentment in the routines of your life and have religion as a part of that routine; but, I would challenge you with the question, “Are you achieving your potential in life?” Each of us has a God given potential to not only be happy with our own lives, but to help make the lives of others better, too. Maybe that’s the next level in life that you can strive to get to. If you can say to yourself, I’m happy with who I am and with what I have and with my life in general; then perhaps it is time to consider what you could be doing to help those around you, who are not as fortunate as you, get to that same place. Why?

Consider this – “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to havehelper faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” – James 2:14-17

So, maybe the decision that you make today that will change your life is one of devoting some part of your life to the service of others. It doesn’t have to be your full-time job; but, it should be a commitment that you make with what time and resources that you have available. Maybe it starts with weekends at a shelter serving soup or perhaps making visits to shut-ins in your community. Maybe you join a community group in a food drive or volunteer to help with a charity event. There is always need in every community for those willingseerving othersto devote some time and effort to help others.

Don’t get hung up on what you haven’t done with your life in the past. Remember Colin Powell’s opening quote and focus upon changing your tomorrow. You are just one decision away from changing your life for the better. No matter how good your life may seem, there will always be something missing until you fill that void with God and start serving Him and serving others. Only then will you be able to experience the peace that passes all understanding. Have a great day and think about making that decision that will change your life.


What good can come out of all this?

January 22, 2017

As I was thinking about something to say about the recent inauguration of our new President, I came across this quote that I saved from an earlier post on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.   “Everybody has difficult years, but a lot of times the difficult years end up being the greatest years.”  (Brittany Murphy)

One can take refuge in the hope that the difficult four years ahead will be looked back upon as a time when the best that is in America was energized into resistance against the anger, hate and bitterness that led to this state of affairs. Perhaps it will come to be reright-and-wronggarded as America’s finest hour when the goodness that is in people found a common cause in the fight for what is right and just and compassionate in the battle against the insensitivity and the self-serving, closed-mindedness of the current political regime in our nation’s capital. Have no doubt about it, this is not a one-man problem, but a systemic assault being waged on the very values that the country was founded upon by a group of frightened politicians who are fighting the inevitable tide of change and diversity that the country is undergoing.

So, what good can come out of these four years of potential darkness? Perhaps the best thing that can happen is the awakening, revitalization and commitment of opposition to that darkness. Such an awakening was demonstrated around the country the day after the inauguration.  The awakening may occur within the existing two party structure of our political environment or perhaps result in the birth of a third party that doesn’t carry with it the baggage of both of the existing parties. Perhaps it will result in the emergence of a new charismatic leader who can serve as the voice of reason and compassion and lead the waitingnation out of the morass that is now finds itself in. I don’t know who that will be, but I would not be surprised if it another strong woman. It is well past time for that to happen and perhaps the country has never needed the difference in approach to governing that a woman could bring to bear than now (or four years from now).

It will take a little while for the current emotions of shock, anger and disappointment to settle down enough in the country for rational and organized efforts to get underway to resist the dismantling of the rights, privileges and protections that were put in place over the last 8 years (and before) and to begin planning for the 2018 and 2020 opportunities to take back the country. It would be a shame if the 65,844,954 million voters who did not vote for this president didn’t get better organized to make sure that the same thing doesn’t happen again next time. The demographics have always been on the side of that majority, but the techtake actionnical mechanics of the last election were such that they allowed the minority to win. That can and will be overcome with the proper effort and commitment on the part of the majority. There is absolutely no need for this to be anything more than a short–term anomaly for our country and perhaps a one-term Presidency.

The good that come out of this is taking a serious look at the failures of both parties that allowed this to happen. The Republican Party did not imagine this outcome when thewinner-loser campaigning for their candidate started. They had several much better choices at the beginning, but those candidates allowed themselves to be bullied out of the way. The Democratic Party seemed to believe that it was entitled to win and chose a candidate that allowed herself to believe that, too. After all, how could she lose to that Republican candidate? The Democrats discarded the only candidate that might have defeated that Republican’s choice when they conspired to block the one candidate who was not beholding to the party elite. What a hoot that Presidential campaign would have been to witness.

So, who will rise to the challenge for 2020 to lead the nation back to sanity? I doubt that it will be Senator Elizabeth Warren, as many have predicted. She certainly has the intellectual capacity to be President; however, she has become as identified with the extreme left as any Tea Party member of Congress is identified with the extreme right. What will bring America back to an effective and productive middle ground of bi-partisan cooperation will be either a Democrat or Republican who is charismatic enough to ignorediversity the right and left litmus tests that the parties try to apply to their candidates. Perhaps it will be another populist, but one this time who espouses diversity, inclusiveness, compassion and a more centrist approach to things. I’m old enough to remember when moderate Republicans were allowed in that party and when there were fiscally conservative Democrats. Both have joined the Dodo bird in the Smithsonian display of extinct species.

So, it’s time to put this election behind us and get geared up to do a better job next time. There will undoubtedly be many fights about, and much anguish over, what happens in those four years. The good news is that we really only have to wait two years until the opportunity to put in place a new set of people in Congress who can slow or stop any destruction that the new President can effect. The Republican Party certainly sstart-with-mehowed us how effective having a majority in Congress can be to blocking everything that the President wants to do. It’s the game that both parties would rather play than focusing on getting the people’s work done. You have two years to be ready to effect change. Don’t waste that time lamenting what went wrong this year, focus on what you can help go right the next time and the time after that. It all starts with me. That’s what good can come out of this.

 


Get old; but, never change…

September 14, 2016

“A pretty face will get old, a nice body will change, but a good person will always be a good person.”  (Unknown) – seen recently on the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

Getting old is inevitable, along with the physical changes that go along with that; smiling older fcehowever, a man or women that others might describe as a beautiful human being will remain a beautiful person in the eyes of the beholder, as long as they never stop being a good person.

So, what does it take to be perceived as a “good person?” That is a simple question that is harder to answer than it might seem.

A piece on the Huffington Post had this take on it –  In David Brooks’ viral New York Times piece “The Moral Bucket List,” he shares his own interpretation: “They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued … Those are the people we want to be.”

A Google search on the term good person turned up this rather long list of the traits of a good person on the Web site www.lifehack.org – 15 Simple Traits of A Truly Good Person

BY KYLE ROBBINS

  1. They are honest in relationships.
  2. They complement others when deserved.
  3. They call their parents regularly.
  4. They are polite.
  5. They are kind to everyone.
  6. They are generous with their belongings.
  7. They remember their manners.
  8. They think of others.
  9. They go the extra mile.
  10. They are kind to loved ones.
  11. They smile.
  12. They make the best out of every situation.
  13. They make friends easily.
  14. They don’t take things for granted.
  15. They are consistent.

 

Maybe you don’t have all 15 traits (few probably would, especially the one about calling your parents often); but, you can still be viewed as a good person and view yourself as a good person. Most people who think of themselves as good people attribute a large part of that to their upbringing, to their parents and teachers. Many also include the influence ofpreacher with children coaches or scout leaders or others who had impact in their formative years. For many, their church life – their Sunday School teachers and pastors – help them become good people.

If you read down the list of the 15 traits of a good person you might note that almost all of the traits are expressed outwardly, towards others. The remaining traits work to bring inner peace in life’s situations. Another thing that you might notice is that none of these character traits are things that age will have an adverse impact upon; they aren’t physical abilities or attributes that fade with age. That’s why a good person will always be a good person.

One might ask, “Why isn’t everyone a good person?” If you look at the list again; think about how many of those traits can get pushed aside by selfishness, arrogance or pride. How many of those things can get buried under the weight of ambition or envy. How arrogantdifficult it would be to be a good person, if your life is ruled by prejudices and hate. How easy is it in the rush for material success to just ignore others; rather than being polite and caring and kind? In the back of our minds most of us know what is right, but the demands of  our world often overwhelm us and the temptations are often too great for us to take the time to look back there, in the back of our minds, and see what is right.

The good news is that we all have the ability to be good people. We just have to stop and let that little voice through that is trying to tell us the right things to do. For many that pause comes in times of prayer. We have a wall plaque in our kitchen that reinforces that need for quite prayer. It reads –

Make time for quite moments… for God whispers and the world is loud.man praying

Maybe you can just ask God directly by praying, “God help me be the good person that I know that I can be.”

If you make time to hear God’s whispers; you will always be a good person and that never gets old. Now, go call your mom and see how she’s doing.


Change your future today…

September 2, 2015

“Nothing we do can change the past, but everything we do changes the future.”  ― Ashleigh Brilliant

It certainly does no good to wallow in the past, especially if you use that as an excuse to do nothing in the present. afraidBetter that you should start changing your future by doing things today. Start by doing a quick and honest assessment of where you are today (not how you got there). Consider what are the issues or challenges that you face today and what do you need to do about them? Break bigger challenges down into smaller pieces or steps that you can take, one at a time, prioritize those small steps and then step off – start doing.

You will find that, even if you don’t initially realize it, in the doing you forget to spend time thinking about what’s passed. You are busy making your future. And when you get done with each task, take George C.  Marshall’s advice –

“When a thing is done, it’s done.  Don’t look back.  Look forward to your next objective.” 

 The advice of both Brilliant and Marshall look to the future, rather than the past. Brilliant seems to be more the dreamer and Marshall the more pragmatic, but both are heading you in the same direction – your future.

That is another important thing to keep in mind and one that I’ve written about her in the past – there is always a future. Every event in life that I spent time dreading and overthinking came and went without the apocalyptic end that I had imagined. Yes, some of them were painful, either emotionally or physically, but they passed and I was still there; life goes on and I was still standing. You will be, too. You will also learn that the solution to life’s disappointments, pains and trials is not to be found in a bottle or a pill, but within you and through actions.

Bottom line – you have a future and what that future is will change, depending upon what you start making it be today.  Here’s another  thought to get you started –

“It’s amazing how a little tomorrow can make up for a whole lot of yesterday.”  ― John Guare

Finally, for those afraid of the future, there is help within your faith –  me

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”  ― Corrie ten Boom

You can change your future today with a simple little prayer – “Not my will, but thy will be done.” Now that’s doing something about your future!